Friday 19th April 2019 Issue No 2332


The Ullapool News Team wishes everyone a



Friday 12th April 2019 Issue No 2331



Last Saturday, an orange-clad mob rampaged through the streets of Ullapool. They ran, they wheel-chaired, they walked, strolled, ambled and cycled. Some were even transported by the power of Dave Crook on Ullapool’s Cycling Without Age trishaw. In all, over 170 people supported and took part in this 5k event to raise awareness of the Rowing the Minch for MS charity challenge.

The event started at the pier and finished at the newly refurbished Village Hall. The hall looked fantastic and was beautifully laid out for lunch by the award-winning Ullapool Museum volunteers. Their skilful team-work was a joy to behold and the array of cakes on display would have brought a tear to Mary Berry’s eyes. The total raised by the event was an amazing £1290.65 but better still, it was exactly the kind of day we hoped for with all ages and abilities taking part. We also had good representation from our local canine supporters.

It only takes five people to crew a skiff, but it takes a whole community to support them in a challenge like this. The crew sincerely thanks the following people and organisations for supporting this brilliant event:

Ullapool Harbour Trust, Ullapool Village Hall, Ullapool Museum volunteers, Broomfield Holiday Park, The New Broom, Steven Gourlay, Ullapool News, the Men's Shed, our volunteer marshals and everyone who took part on the day.

We’d fill the entire Ullapool News for several editions with all the photographs we have. Those shown here are only a small selection, to view them all and to see the brilliant film made by Steven Gourlay, check out our Facebook page: Rowing The Minch For MS.

LT       #RowingTheMinchForMS

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Farewell and Thanks to Screen Machine’s Neil Macdonald

Screen Machine have recently said goodbye to long-serving colleague Neil Macdonald. After over 14 years of service, his final tour of duty in March saw him take the Screen Machine to Port Ellen, Gigha, Coll, Tiree, Lochgilphead, Bunessan and Tobermory.

In those years Neil, who is from Kinlochewe, covered approximately 70,000 miles (close to three times the distance round the Earth), screened 4,300 films and welcomed 125,000 customers to the cinema. David Redshaw is the new Operator. He has many years of experience of driving in the Highlands & Islands, and has also previously worked as Screen Machine’s usher in Kyleakin and Port Ellen.

Screen Machine’s next visits to this area will be on 24-25 May (Lochinver) and 7-8 June (Ullapool).


‘Light Up Ullapool’     Last chance to vote!!!!

If you haven’t voted yet, there are still cards at Parlett’s or go to:

Voting closes midday Monday



Friday 5th April 2019 Issue No 2330


‘Light Up Ullapool’

See the project film TONIGHT

Friday 5th April on STV 6pm News

Vote at:

and find us on:



Community Benefit Fund – Launch!

Do you have an idea within our community that you think deserves financial support? Then apply for a grant from UCT!

Key Info:

Applications open Tuesday 23 April 2019  Applications close Friday 31 May 2019.

Minimum Grant £250       Maximum Grant £4000

Application forms and guidance will be available on the UCT website: as well as for collection from the New Broom. Or call us on 01854 613 879.




An exhibition featuring paintings and drawings from esteemed Scottish artists inspired by plants, flowers and trees opens at An Talla Solais this weekend.

‘Botanical’ includes beautiful work from the Royal Scottish Academy Collections and the studios of well-known artists such as Elizabeth Blackadder, Anne Redpath, Graham Fagen, Victoria Crowe, David Michie and Frances Walker.

The rich and varied selection - from prints to watercolours and oils – explores how we see, interpret and engage with what we imagine to be the familiar plant world around us.

Colin Greenslade is Director of the RSA and curated the original ‘Winter Flowers’exhibition last year in Edinburgh from which ‘Botanical’ has developed.

“These artists’ fascination with the natural world, and their depiction and presentation of this research are small links in a long chain of connection and reinterpretation of our natural environment. Inviting these artists to exhibit gives us a brief glimpse into their studio practice and research and it is very exciting to enable the visitors at An Tallas Solais another glimpse at this new Springtime exhibition in Ullapool,” he says. 

The exhibition is sponsored by Caladar Arts, a studio and project space, and Ullapool’s own Highland Liquor Company, creators of handmade spirits including their signature new 'Seven Crofts' which is inspired by forest fruits and woodland.

Another local enterprise – Libby and Alice Nairn’s 'Hands Full of Flowers' – will run a Saturday drop-in flower-arranging session next month and create a community floral installation.   

‘Botanical’ opens on Saturday 6thApril at 10am at the An Talla Solais Gallery, West Argyle Street, Ullapool. The Gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm (with a 30 minute closure at 1.30pm) until Sunday 19thMay. Entry is free.   


Friday 29th March 2019 Issue No 2329


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Friday 22nd March 2019 Issue No 2328


Ullapool Village Hall repairs due to finish by 1st April

Ullapool Book Festival Programme Available now - on-line Booking opens at the end of the month

End of Financial year fast approaching - please settle all outstanding invoices as soon as possible to help our staff.


Friday 15th March 2019 Issue No 2327


Ullapool Boy Represents Scotland at Major Climate Event

Finlay Pringle, a primary school pupil from Ullapool, represented Scotland at a meeting of more than 60 young climate change campaigners from 20 nations this week.

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Finlay, 11, is part of the Fridays for Future movement inspired by 15-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg.   Greta and a number of other young people met in Strasbourg on Tuesday ahead of a European Parliament debate on climate change on Wednesday. The young people also met Green MEPs during their visit.

Fridays for Future has seen school students across Europe hold hour-long strikes outside their school gates to put pressure on governments to tackle climate change.

Finlay, who loves the outdoors and snorkelling, became concerned about climate change after watching nature documentaries. He was the only Scot representing his country at this week’s meeting of young activists.  Finlay, his sister Ella and their friend Megan Ross, who are both nine, have been holding their walkouts since December last year. Last month, young people across Scotland took part in a UK-wide strike, and an international day of action is being held today, 15 March.  Finlay was accompanied by proud Dad Geoff as he made the trip to France.

(picture: Noel Hawkins)

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Clipper have produced the world’s first plastic-free teabags!

So not only are Clipper teabags Fairtrade, unbleached and non-GM, they are plastic-free: “Bags more to feel good about”!

And you can buy them in Ullapool Tesco!  Read more about them at

Ullapool Fairtrade Group



Friday 8th March 2019 Issue No 2326




Between 19.00 and 06.00 on Thursday 14 March,

the A835, 1km north of Tarvie,


due to carriageway re-surfacing.

Waiting vehicles will be escorted through at

9pm, 11pm, 1am and 4am.

Emergency service vehicles will be allowed to pass through the site throughout the working period.

Many thanks to the several people who notified the Ullapool News of this closure. Eds


Coming soon - volume 2 of the Stone Stories 

Many of you seem to have enjoyed The Walrus Mutterer and asked me to let you know when you can get the next volume in my Iron Age historical novel trilogy, The Stone Stories. Well, that moment has almost arrived!

You can pre-order at your favourite bookshop, as it will be out within the next few weeks. If you would like a signed copy then you can order one on my website  or come along to one of the launch events and get it signed in person. It will be lovely to see you!

On Sunday 17 March 2019, I'll be launching The Amber Seeker in Glasgow at the Aye Write! book festival. I'll be reading at the Mitchell Library at 4.45pm.

There will then be a 'home' launch in Lochinver Community Room on Saturday 23 March at 7.30pm as part of a history writing day, 'Putting the Story back into History'. This event will be free and wine will be served!

I will be back in touch again before too long with more news but for now I just wanted to let you know that The Amber Seeker is on the way, and to wish you all a wonderful spring. It is today officially spring here on the croft, as the first primroses are out under the aspens on the shore of Loch Roe.

Wishing you well, Mandy


Ike Gibson

My fabulous and much loved dad Ike died on February 23rd following a fall.  All are welcome to join us at Ike’s funeral which will be held at the Royal Hotel in Ullapool at 11am on March 14th 2019 followed by a private cremation.

Family flowers only please with donations in lieu to The Refugee Council in acknowledgement of Ike’s early life. 



Friday 1st March 2019 Issue No 2325


Ullapool Village Hall

The hall floor replacement is delayed. Issues appeared when the floor was taken up. Our insurers appointed specialists who came this week. It looks likely that the main hall will now be out of use for all of March. We are in touch with our regular hall users who have been notified of this delay and we will be keeping them updated.

Please note that the closure does not affect the hire of the committee room. Also the solicitor, accountant and physiotherapist are not affected by this and it is business as usual for them.

Joan Michael, chair, management committee



The earliest surviving map of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, dating from around 1800, has been restored by conservators at the National Library of Scotland.

Chapman’s Plan of Stornoway Bayhead is an important historical document because of its detail, which includes the names of the occupants of all the houses.

Chris Fleet, map curator at National Library of Scotland, said that it had “major value”. The map was to be digitised and put online but its poor condition meant the process could not go ahead without significant conservation work.



Ike Gibson was a brilliant man with a tremendous and kind spirit. He had great passion for all the good that life has to offer.

A loving husband to Ann, a devoted and rightly proud father to Ian and Kate and a doting grandfather to Alex.

Ike has been a lifelong friend and mentor to us and we are better men thanks to him. He will be sadly missed.

Sincerely, Andy, Stephen and Ben Underwood


Friday 22nd February 2019 Issue No 2324



(Down Memory Lane...)

John Tuach

My Great Aunt (GA) and her lifelong friend and co-worker both lived on West Shore Street, then known as The Point. She was always jolly, laughing and reminiscing about older people of her youth and would introduce a story:   "when the young was in me.”   Highly amused, she would rock back and fore and moan with mirth: "OOOOH, I'm going to lose my lochy."

On retirement (and before retirement), the pair made a career of touring the village to take tea, and to receive and distribute the local news. Each morning, GA would arrive at our house early, and help with bed and breakfast chores whilst exchanging local tattle with mother. Our neighbours would often visit. GA’s pal would arrive mid-morning, and they would then depart for a day-long tour of relatives and friends in the rest of the village. Ornsay House, a guest house located beside the Pier, was a popular hotspot where they networked with land-ladies from different parts of the community in the afternoons.

The pair of Pointers loved to scuttle around the village with ‘Breaking News.’   Sabbath violations, traffic or boating accidents, tragedy, personal health crisis, births, deaths, engagements, marriages, illicit and/or legal liaisons (with tut-tuts where bouts of intense pleasure were imagined), personal and religious non-conformity, public altercations, excessive public inebriation, police interventions, lottery wins, miniskirts, roaming cats and dogs, and any local matter that was deemed an impropriety were enthusiastically broadcast, and the severity of the improprieties were, no doubt, at times enhanced.

One event that caused great excitement was a huge early morning fire in February 1960 at the Royal Hotel as it was undergoing major renovations in extremely cold weather. The pair noted that during and after the fire, the firemen went to Lang’s house on the North Road for refreshments from Langs Bakery next door (now the Roman Catholic Chapel) and with difficulty, removed their frozen uniforms which subsequently stood on their own in the hallway.

On another occasion, a Councillor from Achiltibuie landed in the ditch in his car whilst racing home from the pub late one moonlit night: “ I was driving by the light of the moon, and the moon went out!” - the luminary had forgotten to switch on his car headlights.

Little escaped the attention of the news-hounds. All details were recounted, presumably in hope of enhancing their status as first-information enablers in the pre-texting days. Thus was information spread and exchanged throughout the entire village on a personal network platform.



during Fairtrade Fortnight 

Monday 25 February - Sunday 10 March 2019

“Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection”

Article 23 (c) Universal Declaration of Human Rights. December 1948






Friday 15th February 2019 Issue No 2323




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Iain MacColl, Senior Operator of the Screen Machine, was the joint winner of the first ever For the Love of Film award at the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) hosted by Joanna Lumley at the Royal Albert Hall this week.

The award recognises individuals who have done something amazing ‘for the love of film’. People across the UK were encouraged to submit applications on behalf of those who they felt should be recognised for their contribution. Hundreds of testimonials were considered by a panel of experts including Edith Bowman and Ali Plumb, chaired by Andrew Orr from the BAFTA film committee. Andrew said: “Iain stood out due to his long service and the wide-reaching impact of Screen Machine which has ensured that the cinematic experience is available to communities across the Highlands and Islands.”

Iain MacColl is the Senior Operator of the Screen Machine, the UK’s only full-time, self-contained mobile cinema, serving some 50 communities and over 30,000 filmgoers across the Highlands each year, including 20 islands. He has been with the service since it launched in 1998. The Screen Machine Operators do everything on the ground: drive the Machine to its location, set it up (the trailer expands to become a comfortable 80-seat auditorium), sell the tickets, welcome the audience, project the films, then close up and move on to the next location.

Increasingly the Operators are also delivering special events: for Into Film school clubs, for those living with dementia, and working with archive and artists’ films.

Iain traces his passion for film back to his boyhood in Tighnabruaich, when he used to help the man from the Highlands and Islands Film Guild, the early travelling cinema in Scotland, carry the projector into the village hall, progressing to wiring up lamps and collecting tickets.  He and Neil Macdonald, who is from Wester Ross, work 16-hour days, two weeks on, two weeks off. He said before the BAFTA ceremony: “It is amazing to see the hard work that not just myself but everyone at Screen Machine has put in over the last 21 years, being recognised by BAFTA.”

Iain’s colleague Neil Macdonald, who brought Screen Machine to Ullapool on Monday and Tuesday this week, grew up in Kinlochewe in the 1960s and also helped run film clubs in his youth, in village halls around Wester Ross. Neil commented: ‘Everyone who comes to the Screen Machine says it’s the cinema environment that makes the experience. There’s a real social thing, a gathering for folk in rural communities. People toot their horns and flash their lights when they see us driving in. I love doing a job where folk are glad to see you!’

The present Screen Machine is the second vehicle; the first was in operation from 1998 until Screen Machine 2 was launched in 2005, proving an immediate success and delivering the consistent quality service which had always been desired.  A major refit of Screen Machine 2 was completed in 2017 to allow at least another six years of full operation.   Screen Machine is owned and operated by Regional Screen Scotland, a not-for-profit private company funded by Creative Scotland and HIE, with further support from CalMac.


Inside this weeks newspaper  --  Local man appointed to the Board of West Highland College UHI

AND Local Girl prepares for Austrian European Cup Judo Competition.


Friday 8th February 2019 Issue No 2322



Stephen Mackenzie produced another record breaking performance to win the long jump in the Scottish U20 Indoor Championship at Glasgow Emirates Area on Saturday 2 Feb, in what proved another exciting competition.

He cleared a jump of 7.35m, in the final round setting a new championship best record and pipped his competitor by 0.01cm to take the GOLD medal, a situation that was reversed only a week ago!

Stephen went on to clear a PB in his Triple Jump of 14.66m, landing him the SILVER medal.

A busy week lies ahead, with back down to Glasgow on Thursday to compete at the Scottish Schools Indoor Championships in both Long Jump and 60m and then on to Birmingham to compete at the British Athletics Indoor Championships on Sunday 10 Feb. The long jump event is at 1.00pm and BBC usually provides the television coverage, if anyone wants to watch out for him!


Friday 1st February 2019 Issue No 2321




An Talla Solais Gallery opens its doors next week for the first ever exhibition preview by the Dolphin Arts Project group and we'd like the whole village to come along and join us.

The Project works creatively with people living with dementia in Ullapool and, to celebrate their exhibition Still, the Dolphins would like to welcome the whole community to see their paintings, drawings and sculpture at a special preview from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday 7th February. The group will be there holding one of their weekly activity sessions so you can come along and see the artists at work.

On Friday the exhibition will be open from 10am to 4pm and we're offering a special '15 Minute Dementia Awareness' session on the hour every hour. We know you're busy so we're asking for just 15 minutes of your time to learn a little about what it's like to live with dementia and the small ways you can help those affected when you meet them. Only 15 minutes from your day which could make a really big difference to someone else's day.

The exhibition will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm too. If you can't attend Friday's '15 Minute' sessions then please pop in anyway. We're offering to come along to your shop, B&B, office or group and do a '15 Minute' session throughout February and March so you can always leave your name and contact details and we'll be in touch to arrange a visit to you in Ullapool. Or email Anne-Marie Quinn on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Ullapool is already a friendly village so please join the Dolphins to make it a Dementia Friendly Community too.




It’s so exhausting working in the Ullapool News office…

Baby Quinn, son of Kirsten Maclennan, our relief collator, who came in last Wednesday evening.





New On-line Service from Traffic Scotland

Tips on Using the Gritter-Tracker

Start by searching, then open the Gritter Tracker box which is displayed. 

The initial map view on the Trunk Road Gritter Tracker provides vehicle trails for the 0-2 hours range and the current location of active gritters only. 

Inactive gritters will not be visible if they have not been operational in the last 24 hours, i.e. parked up at a depot.

To view gritter trails above the 0-2 hours age ranges (e.g. 2-4 hours, and so on up to 12+ hours) and to view a number of gritters at the same location i.e. at a depot, then you must zoom into the map view on a specific area or trunk route to view this information.

You can now use the search-bar at the top left of the screen to search for a gritter by its registration number. The vehicle currently working on the A835 is GK02NZS.  

Many gritters in Scotland have also been given nicknames, which can be searched for in the same way: e.g. Sir Andy Flurry, Gritty Gritty Bang Bang.  


It might be nice if our local gritter could be given a catchy name too! (Annie Lorry perhaps?...)  Eds



Friday 25th January 2019 Issue No 2320


Ullapool Wedding of the Year  –  A Great Big Thanks

mo and robert wedding

We would like to say a great big Thank-You to the people of Ullapool for making our wedding day so special.

Thanks to Heidi Hercus our Church of Scotland minister, the instigator and organiser, who managed to get special dispensation to make it happen. Who organised the cake, flowers, champagne, the photographer and even that lovely boat sound. On top of all that she conducted an amazing service. We must also thank Tony Hercus for providing the humour and an awfy guid pome. Oh and for dressing the groom.

To Steven Gourlay, thanks for taking such superb photos, and for getting them back to us so quickly. We both love them all. Great memories from a great day.  For the catering we have to thank Margaret Maclean (Taffy) for some amazing scones, making the tea and providing the exhausted groom with a hearty soup. Thanks also to Holly MacNicol from The Tea Store who baked an impressive wedding cake.  Our favourite musician played our favourite tunes and Mo’s feet and hands couldn’t stop dancing!!! Thanks Ruairidh Maclean. You are the best!!

Thanks also to Julie and Freya for the surprise accessory (ie the garter), the lack of instruction caused much hilarity at Robert’s expense.

Thanks to Catriona White, for whom nursing Mo wasn’t enough, so she volunteered to fill the witness position too.

A big thank you to the ferry crew of the Loch Seaforth for their cheery salute.  And finally to everyone for the numerous cards, kind thoughts and best wishes, especially those from Ullapool Primary.

Thanking you all once again from the bottom of our hearts

Wee Mo and Robert (Stirling)


mo funeral


Friday 18th January 2019 Issue No 2319


Alice Wilkins Stars in TV Dance Show

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Ullapool Dance’s very own professional dance teacher Alice Wilkins stars in Channel 4’s new show Flirty Dancing on Thursday 24th January at 10pm. Alice has been working with local charity Ullapool Dance for the last year delivering a wide range of classes aimed at getting everybody dancing.

The five-part series, hosted by Diversity’s Ashley Banjo, pairs up couples before Ashley choreographs a routine for them. The couples practice the steps separately for a week, then meet for the first time to perform together in front of the cameras before they are even allowed to say a word.   Alice says “It was a fantastic experience. I’m not allowed to reveal what happens at the end of our dance – you’ll just have to watch it!”


Fresh investment has just been announced by the Scottish Government to promote the scenery, wildlife and culture of the Highland and Islands.

The £5m Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund will be led by Scottish Natural Heritage, and applications opened on Monday 14 January for funding boosts for projects that are seeking to benefit the area, including those that will improve the experience of visitors.

Ten major new projects are expected to benefit.



Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership are delighted to announce this year we will be holding a ‘Festival of the Sea’ on Sunday the 14 April 2019 at Culag Park, Lochinver.

It will be a one-day event showcasing local producers, suppliers and businesses from the Coigach and Assynt area to celebrate the fin-tastic seafood we have available here. Alongside produce stalls we hope to have some live cooking sessions where you can try some different ways of preparing and using local ingredients. Live music and family activities will also be scheduled over the day.

If you would be interested in having a stall, showing us your cooking skills or supplying the event please get in touch! We would love to have as many local businesses and charities as possible join us for the celebration.

Keep your eyes peeled for the logo reveal and more information of the event!

Contact: Vickii Campen         Office: 01571 844638  email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Friday 11th January 2019 Issue No 2318



After more years than perhaps even she would like to remember, Barbara Jackson has retired from the Ullapool News.

Largely involved as advertising manager, Barbara had turned her hand to most aspects of the paper in her 40+ years with us and has seen many changes in that time.

She will certainly be missed.  We wish her and Jack well in their retirement!

Ullapool News Team


New Shop opens at the Campsite at the Fuaran Bar, Altandhu

Called A Bhuth Bheag (The Small Shop) this new shop on the campsite will be open Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm and on Sunday 10am to 5pm (Winter hours) A licensed grocer, and selling the Ullapool News...! After the closure of Polbain Stores, this is really good news for residents and visitors alike.

We wish Catriona and family all the best with their new venture. Eds. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE - Ullapool Village Hall will be closed for replacement of the main hall floor from 16 February to 4th March. Committee room is still accessible for the solicitor and accountant, and there will be access to the Physio's room.




Additional information